Birch Rock Hill is located in the Roaring Run Natural Area in Forbes State Forest in southwestern Pennsylvania. In a region that was once crowded by logging until the 1960’s when a conservation agency took over the land and has been protected ever since. Birch Rock sits at 2,934 feet which by Pennsylvania standards is rather large with few peaks in the state overshadowing it. In the area there are numerous trails that you can choose to hike offering hikers a chance to find a hike according to their individual wishes.
From highway 70/76 get off at eigher exit 91 or 110(depending on wich direction you are coming from)and get on route 31. From route 31 take 381/711 south to the city of Champion and you will come to a four way stop. This road is County Line. Take this road east for a little under 2 miles and you will see the parking lot on your left.
Birch Rock Trail
The trail is fairly simple and easy to follow. From the trailhead hike following the blue blazes up to the Birch Rock overlook for about 1 mile. At that point you have come to the end of the trail and you will come to a rock outcrop. From here on a clear day you can see Seven Springs ski resort as well as the surrounding area. If you intend to travel to the summit you will have to hike for about another half a mile down a faint unmarked trail. It was pretty easy to follow when the plant life is not in bloom. At the summit there is not a clear opening but you can still see the surrounding hillsides.
The hike to the summit totals to around 3 miles round trip with almost 1000 feet of elevation change.
South Loop Variation
You can make a loop out of this peak by starting at the trailhead and follow the south loop trail for around 1.77 miles. At this point you are in the valley between Painter Rock and Birch Rock and only .25 miles away from the summit. The views from this trail are pretty good which could make this a nice option. The last quarter mile is steep and unmarked which could dissuade some but it is another option. Once you reach the top you can follow the faint path back to the trail and down to the trailhead.
No camping, cutting wood or driving anything with a motor in the area.
Kooser and Laurel Hill State Parks are fairly close. Mountain Pines Campground is the closest campground to the Birch Rock trailhead, but I would NOT recommend that you stay there.
External Links Forbes State Forest